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If Dawn never existed: Your alt-S5 theories

Discussion in 'Season 5' started by Athena, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. Athena

    Athena Belinda Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    Following discussions in Why didn't the monks just destroy the key?, the question became "If Dawn hadn't existed, what would Season 5 have been about?"

    So, this thread asks that very question. What are your S5 minus Dawn plot theories?

    Would Joyce have still had a tumour? Would she have still passed away?
    Would Buffy and Riley have still split up?
    Would Glory still be the big bad? She could still be looking for "the key" but it wouldn't be a sister.... ;)
    Could Dracula have been the big bad?
    Would Spike have still got the Buffybot made?
    Without Dawn, could Buffy still have made that ultimate sacrifice to save the world?

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Athene

    Athene Scooby

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    Yes, because they were trying to push Buffy into adulthood and I don't think that could have happened as effectively as it did if Joyce didn't die.
    Yes, I think that this was inevitable and I don't think that Joss ever meant for Riley to be her permanent boyfriend. Besides it wasn't Dawn that made Riley and Buffy break up.
    Yes, Glory would still be the big bad and she'd still be looking for the key. In terms of what the key actually is I think that if the key had been the same age as Dawn but a stranger that would have made things more difficult for our hero. If the key was a stranger but still an innocent, would Buffy still have given her life to protect the person and the world or did she only do it because the key was her sister?
    I don't think so, he was fun for the episode but I think he was mostly funny, and not really big bad material.
    Yes, unless Spike was really only obsessed with Buffy because he dreamed of having Dawn as his little sister in law lol.

    Maybe, but more than likely no. I think Buffy gave her life not because Dawn is an innocent but because she's her sister, and obviously she didn't want to lose her.
     
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  3. DeadlyDuo

    DeadlyDuo Scooby

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    I think Joyce would've still died as it was an event that pulled the rug out from under Buffy's feet and she had to learn to cope with that. I would hope that Spuffy wouldn't be a thing but I think Buffy would've gone off the rails before season 6. I think the scoobies would struggle with how to help Buffy, this could be where Tara really steps up since she also had to deal with the death of her mother and through that role is how she becomes a proper Scooby. I think Riley would remain for a while longer and propose to Buffy, but because of everything else that is going on, Buffy freaks out and rejects the proposal. This causes Riley to leave since the proposal was him trying to show Buffy how much he loves her and she "rejected" that love. This would upset Buffy further.

    I think life should be the big bad of season 5 and Buffy's arc is her experiencing the however many stages of grief and overcoming that by the end of the season. There is no physical big bad for Buffy to fight and that makes things worse for her because she can't stop what's happening.
     
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  4. WillowFromBuffy

    WillowFromBuffy "My bowling shoe fetish is not the issue here."

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  5. thrasherpix

    thrasherpix Scooby

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    Yes, Buffy would've made the ultimate sacrifice to save the world. She did in season 1 when her will to live was a lot stronger, after all, and she also sacrificed Angel in season 2 as she saw no other way, and was probably even harder than when she sacrificed herself.
     
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  6. Bluebird

    Bluebird two by two, hands of blue

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    Black Thorn
    I dunno. The problem with imagining an alternate season 5 is that the whole season hung its hat on the whole sister Summers thing - Dawn was the catalyst for a lot and she was used to force Buffy to grow up. The nature of her appearance means she will be the focus thematically and emotionally. I get that the theme of family was what they were aiming for, but I felt the overarching theme of the season didn't effect the rest of the characters as in previous seasons. The group felt less connected. Instead of having an episode called Family where they just state they're a family, rather than actually feeling like one, the previous seasons had an easy feeling of intimacy between the characters. So I don't know what it would be, but if no Dawn I'd imagine there would be a different theme for the season, around becoming an adult.
     
  7. Last Watcher

    Last Watcher Tweed Icon

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    Sineya
    She had already distanced herself from her mother to a certain extent by this point. If Tony wanted out of the show so he could return to England, why not have
    the Death of Giles be the catalyst that causes the rest of the scoobies to have to grow up. It would be like losing a father to all of them, not just Buffy.
     
  8. flow

    flow Will you just hold me ?

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    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    No.

    @Athene gave all the right reasons for These answers, so I won´t repeat them,

    Why should Buffy sacrifice herself, if it wasn`t for Dawn ? We would need a complete new story arc for S5 including a different finale to replace the most beautiful finale of the series. I would not change a thing.

    flow
     
    AnthonyCordova: So much yes
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  9. Athena

    Athena Belinda Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    I kind of intended the questions to be rhetorical just to start a discussion. ;)
     
  10. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    Okay, let's take these one at a time.

    Would Joyce have still had a tumor? Would she have still passed away?

    I don't think that Joyce's passing was absolutely necessary to the story line. The tumor might have made her an invalid, very dependent on Buffy for care and support. The point of her death, I think, was to pile all of that responsibility on her suddenly, at a time when she was facing the most powerful opponent she had ever faced.

    Would Buffy and Riley have still split up?I honestly think that Buffy and Riley were doomed from the beginning. Their whole relationship seemed contrived, and their break up was just downright silly. Riley could have been called back to active duty without all that "I need you to need me" crap, and he would still have been just as gone, without all the drama. We already saw one heart wrenching separation when Angel left. There was no need for a repeat performance.

    Would Glory still be the big bad? She could still be looking for "the key" but it wouldn't be a sister

    The Key could have been some artifact located near the hellmouth. Dawn was just Joss' attempt to add a younger member to the cast.

    Could Dracula have been the big bad?

    I don't think that Joss would have wanted to use Dracula as the Season Big Bad, simply because he wasn't a character created by Joss, himself. Joss likes to play with his own toys, unless he's writing specifically in someone else's universe, like Marvel or DC.

    Would Spike have still got the Buffybot made?

    The Buffy Bot was a plot device that was used primarily to make Glory a special link between Buffy and Spike. Glory tried to get information from him, he resisted, and Buffy was grateful for his loyalty, seeing him for probably the first time as someone who could be trusted. There could have been something else that might have served just as well, as I will illustrate below.

    Without Dawn, could Buffy still have made that ultimate sacrifice to save the world?

    If she thought that that was the only way to stop Glory's plan, yes, certainly. She's the Slayer, after all. That's her job, just like it was back in Season 1 when she went out to meet the Master, knowing that he was going to kill her.

    And now...

    One simple change in the story line would have made Dawn totally unnecessary. Instead of Joyce dying, she could have suffered some injury or had a stroke, making her dependent on Buffy for care. Of course, the gang would be sympathetic, and certainly help however they could, but who do we know who could personally sympathize with someone having to care for a semi invalid parent? Someone who has formed a special bond with Joyce over countless cups of hot chocolate with cute little marshmallows? Glory's minions could just as easily seen Spike leaving Buffy's house just before dawn one morning and assumed that he and Buffy were lovers as they did when the saw Spike with his love toy. Those guys weren't all that bright. Glory tries to torture the information out of him about some antique that Joyce has (the Key, obviously) he resists, rather than endanger Joyce, and earns Buffy's gratitude.

    Other than those few details, the Season 5 story line could go on just fine without either Joyce's death or the introduction of Dawn.
     
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  11. Meliza

    Meliza Potential

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    I could not disagree more, there is no "key" story without Dawn. Like Joss Whedon said, he will always sacrifice continuity/convention to get at the emotional truth of the story in a similar vein rejecting Dawn demolishes the heart of the key mythology, integrating and accepting her inner child/vulnerable human half "The monks made her out of me" as a metaphor for growing up ( like always)

    @Athena, Asking one to think up a alternate Season puts you in Joss's position as he has to put forethought into where he wants the show to grow, what stage is Buffy leaving/entering? so one by necessity really has to head canon more then one season in order to know where its coming and going from. So I personally would have to start
    at the begining of S4 to answer that question. Buffy would start college, Spike get chipped, meet Riley, drop out of college due to slayer hood/Initiative could figure into that, she realizing a existential crisis a lot sooner, the chasm between the Scoobies would be there and growing, perhaps a falling out with Joyce (Writing this, I am wondering if it is little too mundane/on the nose, this is why Whedon is great, he can use the fantastical to tell the same story better.) basically S4 would be s6 depression storyline the biggest quirk I always thought would have worked is if Buffy had been sleeping with a version of chipped Spike that was still evil and dangerous to put a capper on the downfall perspective and it is just a lot more dramatic, to be sleeping with a actual enemy as opposed to a symbolic one to make it morally ambiguous.
     
  12. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    No Dawn? Spike is so dead then. He can't live beyond EP10.
     
  13. AnthonyCordova

    AnthonyCordova Apocalypse Engine

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    Sineya
    Yeah, it seems like idle and groundless speculation. All the themes of S5 tie into Dawn's influence. Obviously the show would be utterly different without her. The way Buffy would have processed her mother's death wouldn't involve caring for her sister, so much of her anxiety encouraging her to grow up faster wouldn't have needed to be experienced.

    But most of all, the themes would have to be brand new from scratch. Buffy's early journey into responsible adulthood, learning to overcome her selfish instincts to put her sister's welfare above her, all of that growth wouldn't have occurred. It's hard for me to visualize what would be left. It would amount to a total rewrite; and certainly S5 wouldn't be the season to rewrite. I prefer S7 when I indulge in those types of rewrite fantasies, because s7 overall wasn't very good.
     
  14. crazysoulless

    crazysoulless Scooby

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    I think season 5 would be a lot more about Buffy exploring her Slayerness.

    As it was, she performed a powerful trance spell by herself, meditated with crystals, had a lengthy reading list, read the Watchers Journals, researched past Slayers, and traveled into the desert on a spirit quest.

    She has prophetic dreams, visions, and psychic intuition (spidey sense). Maybe training enhances them. She should have kept a dream journal and taken a course on symbolism. I don't know why Cordelia having Doyle's visions is made so epically important to the Fang Gang and AtS but Buffy being a seer---literally the first thing we found out about her---is downplayed by everyone. It's never seen as something integral to the mission or her character.
     
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  15. Somecallmejames

    Somecallmejames Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Season 5 without Dawn would have made it as good as seaaons 1-4 (as season 5 is where Buffy went downhill in terms of quality).

    As for the issue of who's the key, I would make Spike the key. That way, Buffy would not have to sacrifice herself at the end of season 5, since Spike is a vampire and could leap through the portal and be fine, it also might make Spuffy happen sooner.

    As for the hints to Dawn in seasons 3 and 4, I would change it so that Glory's name is Dawn and she is Buffy's little sister from an alternate dimension (and make her an evil godesss).